Decorating & Design - Budget

Luxury for less

Designers from across Canada share tips for getting a luxurious look at home without paying luxurious prices.

6 Repaint
A fresh coat of paint usually does the most to spruce up your space. Never use cheap paint. Buy good quality. Try painting the walls in a Sico Cashmere finish and the trim in a satin finish for a soft elegant look that will help emphasize your furniture and accessories. Beverly Barrett, Beverly Barrett Design Studio, Moncton

7 Purchase an hour or two of a designer's time
An interior designer will take the uncertainty out of making decisions and keep you from making a design mistake, which is always costly. A designer is available for the big decisions and the smaller ones, to help you to decide what colour to paint your walls, for complete makeover decisions and is available to furniture or accessory shop with you. A designer can give you a new perspective. I always start with rearranging your existing pieces, to give a room an instant new look. Karen Wolinsky, New Interiors, Vancouver

8 Give favourite furniture a makeover

Look at pieces you love and consider giving them a fresh look. Is there is an old chest of drawers or wood coffee table you love the shape of, but maybe not the leg detail or hardware? Why not change the hardware and repaint the piece using a beautiful gloss paint? The piece will look and feel like brand new. Many paint suppliers now offer wonderful environmentally friendly options which are safer for your home. And consider changing an old wood leg to a sleek metal option. Karen Williams, UW Studio, Toronto

9 Organize a swap meet
Invite your neighbours, friends and family to bring all the home decor items that they no long want and swap them for something they do want or need. Not only is this an opportunity to bring home new decor for your space without spending a penny, it’s a chance to socialize and exchange decorating ideas. At the end of the day, gather the remaining items and donate them to your local non-profit thrift store or Habitat for Humanity. Jude Barkley, Expressions of You Interior Design, Toronto

10 Bring home the bargains
My favourite place to bargain shop and find unique items is on eBay. It is a fast, efficient way to find even the most obscure items. Consignment stores are also a great place to find fabulous items at great prices. You can take advantage of other people’s cast-offs that are still in great shape. Often these shops carry designer errors that are brand new, and though they may not have been right for the intended client, they might just be exactly what you’re looking for. Tracy Kundell, Avalon Interiors, Toronto

Image courtesy of Crate and Barrel

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